Growing up, whenever we wanted to make requests to our father, we always go “Daddy this, Daddy that”, all in a rush to get what we want, but we forget to appreciate the things he had done for us in the past or recently. We just ask, as he must provide for us his children, after all.
Eventually, if Dad is going to grant our requests after we have jumped and screamed and tugged at his feet as he would look away, it would look to us that he is paying no attention to whatever we were saying from the beginning. If luck was on us, an angel would walk by just in time just to remind us what we should have said – Mother, or by touching his heart to open his mouth and saying to us, “Did you say thank you for yesterday?”
Thankfulness to God
As humans, we live our lives and go through it day by day without even a drop of gratitude from our mouth to his ears, no act of thankfulness to God. Like yeah, he’s God, it’s his duty and everything. We wake up and don’t even check if our legs, arms, and motor functions are fully operational. “He’s God, everything should be operational” every time we are awake and about to go about our daily life without thankfulness to God, and God in his infinite mercies and benevolent love has never complained. Should we continue to live this way?
If we expect more from God though, and we want to receive bountifully from him, we need to start applying and expressing the feelings of our gratitude to him. As much as he is God, he is not a respondent who is just there to handle our requests daily. Before we even start to tender requests, we should enter his gates with Thanksgiving in our hearts – as that famous song says.
This opens the floodgates of heaven in abundance, for all we asked and even did not ask for – ” such a grateful child, have it all.” Isaiah 12 vs. 4 – 5 encourages us to give thanks always and tell the good news of his deeds to us – no blessing of God is too little.
If we are going to talk about thankfulness to God, there is no better role model for this conversation than Jesus himself. Jesus always expressed gratitude to God before performing a major miracle in the Bible. He could do all things we know; all he just needed was to make the call. However, he always did give thanks to God.
In the Bible there are many stories of Jesus giving gratitude and expressing thankfulness to God, his heavenly Father. This act of thanksgiving doesn’t necessarily translate to him tabling requests to God at every corner, No. He always thanked him – we should make sure our Thanksgiving is always more than our requests. Notably, the story of Lazarus John 11 vs. 1 – 44, and the feeding of the five thousand Mathew 14 vs. 13 – 21.
Death of Lazarus ( John 11 vs. 1 – 44): Lazarus was a friend of Jesus who was sick, and while Jesus was away and there were several messages to him to come over that his friend was dying, he couldn’t make it – for a reason. Unfortunately for Lazarus, but which was going to be to the glory of God, Jesus was only able to make it to Lazarus after he had been dead for three days, yes, three days. And when he arrived, there were emotions all over the place as people had just lost a loved one.
Lazarus was also Jesus’ friend, and Martha fell at his feet crying and lamenting his inability to come on time to save his friend, but still believed in him that he could reverse his death Luke 11 vs. 21. He did try to reaffirm to her that Lazarus would live – of course; he would; he is the son of God. Jesus was deeply troubled by the sight of his beloved and people around them weeping; his soul was so deeply troubled that he wept too.
But that and all the emotions flying around didn’t make him lose sight of what was needed of him – we Christians tend to get lost in the present and what we are going through, so much that we forget to do what is right.
In summary, Jesus got to the place where Lazarus was buried, and the stench from his buried body took over the place as he asked them to roll over the stone. How emotional that must have been, but he never forgot to give thanks to his father in heaven for he had heard him John 11 vs. 41 – note that he had not even opened his mouth to make a request, but he was expressing thankfulness to God in advance for a request he was about to make. The story ends with Lazarus being resurrected from the dead, and God was praised for his miracles upon the life of Lazarus.
Feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14 vs. 13 – 21): Jesus wanted to retreat to a quiet place where he could be by himself to gather his thoughts, after he learned of the event where John the Baptist was beheaded. But he couldn’t get the solitariness he wanted as anywhere the miracle worker went, the possibility for crowds to follow him was always going to happen.
He couldn’t possibly chase them away, and he used his compassion for them to heal the sick among them. As evening approached, his disciples asked that he send them away to get something to eat for themselves, as it was time for them to eat. But he didn’t, he asked his disciples to find something for them, but they only had five loaves of bread and two fishes. They must have been thinking, “oh Rabbi, how do we feed this crowd with just these? Why not send them away, please?”.
The situation was precarious, and Jesus had to feed the mammoth crowd. He then asked the people to sit down on the grass, took the items, and looked up to heaven, and instead of worrying, what did he do? He gave thanks to God and after which he broke the bread. What does Thanksgiving do in this matter? It was important as it acted as the catalyst, and for his request, he had more than enough. All that was there ate and were satisfied, and there were plenty of leftovers.
What Does Thanksgiving Do For You?
There are many things thankfulness to God does for you and your blessings. If we intend to live like Christ – and we are called Christians for living like him, we should learn to apply Thanksgiving, and here are some reasons why
- It helps us to glorify God 2nd Corinthians 4 vs. 15
- When we praise God regardless of the situation we find ourselves in, we are established in his will. 1st Thessalonians 5 vs. 18
- In a life of turmoil and worries, it helps to bring peace to our souls. Philippians 4 vs. 6 – 7
- It makes our blessings permanent. Remember the parable of the ten lepers? Luke 17 vs. 17 – 19
- When we express thankfulness to God for what he has not done, it helps to strengthen our faith. Hebrew 11 vs. 1
- Just like the Psalmist said in Psalm 126 vs. 1 – 3, when we express thankfulness to God even when things look hard for us, we shall experience unlimited joy.
- Thankfulness to God doesn’t give ground to the gimmicks of Satan in our lives, as it counters envy Psalm 138 vs. 1, which gives us a testimony in Christ Psalm 105 vs. 1.
Praise and Thanksgiving Scriptures
Gratitude and thankfulness to God get easier the more we indulge in it. The more you give thanks to God, the less you see things to complain about. To engage in more of these, here are some verses to inspire you:
- Ezra 3 vs. 11
- Psalm 7 vs. 17
- Psalm 9 vs. 1
- Psalm 35 vs. 18
- Psalm 69 vs. 30
- Psalm 95 .1 – 3
- Psalm 100 vs. 4 – 5
- Psalm 106 vs. 1
- Psalm 107 vs. 21 – 22
- Psalm 118 vs. 1
- Psalm 147 vs. 7
- Daniel 2 vs. 23
- Ephesians 5 vs. 18 – 20
- Philippians 4 vs. 6 – 7
- Colossians 2 vs 6 – 7
- Colossians 3 vs 15 – 17
- Colossians 4 vs. 2
- 1st Thessalonians 5 vs. 16 – 18
The power of thanksgiving scriptures
If we are to get people to see the advantage that lies in the act of thankfulness to God, we need to be able to refer to some scriptures that exalt the power in Thanksgiving. Here are some examples:
- Psalm 50 vs. 14 – 15
- 2nd Chronicles 1 vs. 6 – 15
- Psalm 50 vs. 14 – 15
- Psalm 89 vs. 23
- Lamentations 3 vs 22 – 23
- Proverbs 3 vs. 9 – 10
- Psalm 18 vs. 1 – 3
- John 6 vs. 5 – 13
- Luke 17 vs. 11 – 19
- John 11 vs. 41
Giving thanks to God for everything
When we give thanks to God for everything, it helps us realize that we are not in control of everything, nor do we have to be controlled by them, but it shows us that we can have faith in Him that controls them all.
If we want to access the unlimited blessings of heaven, we need to know how to thank God even when there is a but and all odds look to be against us and things don’t look as we expected. Thankfulness to God cuts us away from the queue of people with requests, and brings us into God’s chambers, into his compassion. With this, we can get God to move into the situation himself personally – he inhabits the praises of his people. Psalm 22 vs. 3.